Hands free phones are now a well established tool in our offices, cars and homes - but when on the move its often easier to simply hold the phone to your ear than attempting to plug in a hands-free. This problem is about to be solved by an example of innovation meeting design: the Siemens Pendant Phone.
Unveiled at CeBIT in Hanover during March, the Pendant Phone is a voice-activated mobile telephone, MP3 player and digital camera incorporated into a 60 gram 'necklace' that utilises ear-phones to give true 'hands free' convenience. Though still at the concept stage, the prototype of the allows you to dictate text messages through its speech recognition capabilities and it also talks back, explaining its functions and even greeting you in the morning. Featuring 64 MB of storage for the MP3 player, a camera that can to take 352x280 pixel photos and send them via GPRS or infrared connections, and a display that can tell what angle it is being held at and adjust itself accordingly to optimise viewing.
The Pendant Phone is one of several next generation concepts currently under development at Siemens and the key technology that is facilitating the increasing miniaturisation in many of these projects is the 'Display Speaker Phone' - a concept developed by Siemens and British loudspeaker company NXT that integrates a high-quality loudspeaker into a Siemens S45's glass display, thus eliminating one of the bugbears of mobile phone design - the need to allow space for a loudspeaker.